HUG DANCING by Shelby Hearon


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 Although not quite up to Hearon's last (Owning Jolene, 1989) in wild comic invention or hortatory muscle, still this tale offers another girl-breaking-loose--here, from a pointless marriage--along with some warm-to-barbed humor. It all takes place within some heavy weather in Waco, Texas. Thirty-two-year-old Cile Tait, mother of two ``middle-school Amazons,'' is married to Eben, pastor of an established Presbyterian church. The first indication that passion could flare a bit higher comes when, after 12 years, Cile again meets Drew-- with whom Cile was ``crazy mad sweethearts'' in high school. Drew is now married to gold-accoutered ``Dallas Girl'' Mary Virginia. They have two neat, gentlemanly boys who wear tennis whites (which can be turned inside out, Cile discovers, to reveal surprises). Cile and Drew cannot keep apart, and they prepare to tell respective spouses that they demand divorces. Hearing the news, Eben merely looks judicious, the way he did when agreeing to move weekly sex from Wednesday to Thursday. He also has in the wings a Korean, Dr. Song, who will bring to marriage ``real science corridor bucks.'' (The real reason Eben has been disappointed with Cile's failure to bring money into the home is the church: ``No one is troubled by lack of faith; they want a new roof.'') Meanwhile, Mary Virginia has her eye on Drew's farmland and ignores the divorce request. A sunny ending is in the works, though, as Cile finds a parent and stepparent anew, buys a house, and meets Drew to make love while storms rage and the kids cut up. A warmhearted, happy tale with bright, funny talk and love all around.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1991
ISBN: 0-394-58652-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991


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